Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Five things about Macmillan CEO John Sargent

As a publishing industry outsider, I’m embarrassed to admit that before last weekend’s e-book pricing dispute erupted between Internet retailing giant Amazon and publishing behemoth Macmillan, the only John Sargent I had ever heard of was the famous portrait painter, John Singer Sargent. But, in an effort to learn more about Macmillan CEO John Sargent, I surfed over to the publishing house’s website, expecting to find a respectable biography and a decent photo of the guy who made Amazon’s Jeff Bezos blink. Apparently, Macmillan, “the new face of publishing,” doesn’t publish bios of its top executives. So, I had to go compile my own biographical notes on John Sargent. Here are five interesting things that I learned:

1. John is John Turner Sargent, Jr., born 1957, son of publishing titan John Turner Sargent, Sr., who was president and CEO of Doubleday & Company from the early 1960s to the late 1970s, and Neltje Doubleday, who is a respected artist in Wyoming and the granddaughter of publishing pioneer Frank M. Doubleday.

2. John graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Economics and received an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University. He started his career as a business associate in the publishing division of Doubleday & Company and served as President and Publisher of the Simon & Schuster Children's Book Division, President and CEO of Dorling Kindersley, President and CEO of St. Martin's Press, and President of Holtzbrinck Publishers before the latter changed its name to Macmillan in 2007.

3. John married Constance Lane Murray in 1985. Connie is the daughter of Robert K. Murray, a former professor of American history at Pennsylvania State University who was a “person of interest” during the McCarthy era in the 1950s. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. in marketing from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She has worked at General Foods, CBS Television and Habitat for Humanity - New York City. She is a member of the board of directors of HH-NYC.

4. John is a charitable “superhero” and continues to serve as a longtime member of the board of directors of Graham-Windham, a non profit foster care agency which provides a variety of services to children and their families in the New York metropolitan area.

5. John is a children’s book author, having written One White Sail: A Caribbean Counting Book (1992) and By a Blazing Blue Sea (1999) under the pen name S. T. Garne (an anagram for Sargent).

Pictured: Connie and John Sargent.


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul. John Sargent here. You should be a private eye! All accurate, and enough detail to be a tad freaky...

Anonymous said...

A mutual friend (of John's) just forwarded this charming bio to me. Can I add "Avid Surfer and All Around Generous, Nice Guy"?

Paul said...

Dude, can we add: "Seldom wears a necktie and likes to do big deals over lunch at McDonald's"?